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03-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
jeffkpotter
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Anybody heard of Zenitar 50mm 1.7?

Does anyone here know anything about the old screwmount Zenitar 50mm f1.7?
(My guess would be no.) Yes, I've Googled it but info is pretty sparse. Thanks.


Last edited by jeffkpotter; 03-22-2009 at 06:24 PM.
03-22-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
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Actually, I have a copy of this lens, which I bought more out of curiosity than any expectation of high quality. I compared it with my SMC Tak 55/1.8 and found the Zenitar noticeably poorer, esp. at wide apertures - as I expected.

Regards, Jim
03-22-2009, 06:49 PM   #3
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Thank you Jim. I greatly appreciate your information!
04-29-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkpotter Quote
As this thread is showing up when you search for Zenitar 50mm f1.7 on google I thought I should add a few words. First, It is my opinion that the Zenitar beats the Tak 55mm 1.8 hands down. NO contest. I own both. This is my humble and totally subjective opinion. You are welcome to disagree, especially considering the variation amongst copies of both lenses. I tkink that the Zenitar 50mm f1.7 (KMZ) is the most underrated lens on the net. Prices are going up on this amazing lens and I am not surprised.
Jeff,
Do you have a few sample and/or comparison shots? Photo of the lens itself?

Steve

05-07-2009, 11:16 AM   #5
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Hello friends,

I have just bought Zenitar 50/1.7 old Russian lens. Believe it or not, here in Serbia you can buy those kind of great Russian M42 lenses for just a couple of dollars. This one costed me around $8 or less. I didn't manage to take any serious test shots but I hope it's gonna happen soon. Since I do astrophotography with DSLR, test on stars are the best way to see aberations, chromatism and spherism.
05-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #6
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Hi Gucic and welcome to the forum!

Here's a lens list with Zenitars, Krasnogorsky Zavod -- Lenses
same through google english: Translated version of http://www.zenit.istra.ru/catalog/lenseslist.html
You can see on their list that there are two different Zenitar 50 / 1.7 designs. Which one do you have? Jeff and Jim, which do you have?
Seems like one is called Zenitar-M and the other one Zenitar-ME1.

I recently have tried a Zenitar 2/50 and I think it's quite nice. Have put some pics from it in the Soviet Lens Club Thread and I am looking forward to see yours too in this thread :-) My big fave russian normal lens is the Lomo Volna MC 1.8/50 in PK-mount ('kit lens' for the 'Almaz' camera).

Have fun with the russian lens,
Georg (the other)

Last edited by georgweb; 05-07-2009 at 03:34 PM.
05-08-2009, 06:57 AM   #7
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Hello georgweb,

I have Zenitar ME1 50/1.7, also have several pieces of Helios 44 58/2 lenses which are great at f4>, very good color corrected. I will send some photos of the lens very soon.
05-14-2009, 02:39 AM   #8
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Continuation of the story.

Had a look the other day on the fleamarket and opened up yet another Zenit camera carrying case. Instead of the omnipresent Zenit12xx camera and Helios 44 lens it turned out to be a Zenit18 and the Zenitar ME1.

Well I took the stuff away from the market :-) This combo is an M42 open-aperture-metering system. It has got two contacts on the lens to transmit resistor values onto the camera. Those pins are in the way of the K100D lens mounts' contacts and probably the dreaded AF drive also, so I removed them.

The lens has a two-blade rectangular diamond-shaped aperture, which makes for distinct bokeh. See my above-posted links for lens info. Here's a first glimpse from me on the conversion and the bokeh, Picasa-Album - geo - Zenitar_ME1

I am still very curious which version Jeff and Jim have, is it the Zenitar-M or the Zenitar-ME1 ?

Best, Georg (the other)

05-14-2009, 03:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
Continuation of the story.

Had a look the other day on the fleamarket and opened up yet another Zenit camera carrying case. Instead of the omnipresent Zenit12xx camera and Helios 44 lens it turned out to be a Zenit18 and the Zenitar ME1.

Well I took the stuff away from the market :-) This combo is an M42 open-aperture-metering system. It has got two contacts on the lens to transmit resistor values onto the camera. Those pins are in the way of the K100D lens mounts' contacts and probably the dreaded AF drive also, so I removed them.

The lens has a two-blade rectangular diamond-shaped aperture, which makes for distinct bokeh. See my above-posted links for lens info. Here's a first glimpse from me on the conversion and the bokeh, Picasa-Album - geo - Zenitar_ME1

I am still very curious which version Jeff and Jim have, is it the Zenitar-M or the Zenitar-ME1 ?

Best, Georg (the other)
Thanks Gerog for posting those shots. That bokeh is extreme especially at f11. Does it create a cross star filter type effect when presented with specular highlights?

NaCl(strange bokeh are always fun)H2O
05-14-2009, 04:10 AM   #10
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NaCi reasoned:
QuoteQuote:
Does it create a cross star filter type effect when presented with specular highlights?
I am expecting this to happen, same as x-bladed apertures give x-rayed stars .-) Have some patience, lens is on the cam and the sun is shining.
As you can see in the f/11 pic the 45 angle is not exact. This is due to cam/adapter variations with M42 lenses, so there is always some bokeh differences depending on were the red marker line ends up :-)
Greez from the office,
Georg (the other)

edit: Mission accomplished - more stars and diamonds on the above-mentioned Picasa-link

Life is a lens test. Watch the diamonds in the upper right.

Last edited by georgweb; 05-14-2009 at 03:46 PM.
05-25-2009, 05:05 AM   #11
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Some new shots with Zenitar 50/1.7 on my flickr online gallery:

Gamma Cygni Region on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Pester HDR - Serbia on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

larger photos are in my comment just below photos.
05-25-2009, 01:03 PM   #12
jeffkpotter
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QuoteOriginally posted by gucic Quote
Some new shots with Zenitar 50/1.7 on my flickr online gallery:

Gamma Cygni Region on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Pester HDR - Serbia on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

larger photos are in my comment just below photos.
Really LOVE your Gamma Cygni Region photo. Amazing.
05-25-2009, 04:11 PM   #13
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Great star pic Gucic and those cloud tops are great also.
Jeff, your lens does seem to produce more spherical appearance, looks really good. Strange that I did not see your test thread from January.

Mmmh,
Jeff's got the M version, looks like a 6-bladed aperture on his flower shot, and they give this lens scheme:

And for comparison the ME-1 two-blader


I am wondering if the ME-1 scheme is just done in a very crappy way and those two versions are actually the same except the aperture and the 'electric' feature in the ME-1. The further link given in the lens pages indicates this.

As a reference I just measured the physical openings on the front (36mm) and rear (27mm) on my ME-1.

Best, Georg (the other)
05-25-2009, 04:43 PM   #14
jeffkpotter
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
I am wondering if the ME-1 scheme is just done in a very crappy way and those two versions are actually the same except the aperture and the 'electric' feature in the ME-1. The further link given in the lens pages indicates this.

As a reference I just measured the physical openings on the front (36mm) and rear (27mm) on my ME-1.

Best, Georg (the other)
Yes 2-blade Zen-Master my M is six blade and seems to measure 36mm and 27mm too. I can't get over the crazy iris on the ME-1. It's pretty radical!
The 2 lens schemes are very different. Who knows if they are correct? What factory logo does the ME-1 have?
05-25-2009, 08:48 PM   #15
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Jeff said:
QuoteQuote:
What factory logo does the ME-1 have?
It is KMZ's dove prism, should be from the same factory.
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